What is welfare?
def: well-being, happiness or state of faring well
Can we define animal welfare? why?
NO! everyone's opinions are different. Welfare is a characteristic of an animal, not something given to it!!
Three animal welfare concepts
- physical status (function, fitness)
- Mental Status (fellings)
- Naturalness (telos)
- freedom from hunger and thirst
- freedom from discomfort
- freedom from pain, injury and disease
- freedom to express normal behaviour
- freedom from fear and distress
concept of needs
need: a requirement, fundamental in the biology of the animal, to obtain a particular resource or respond to a particular environmental or bodily stimulus
hierarchy of needs
- some needs may be more important that others for animals
- provision of food and water is a fundamental need
- provision of a comfortable lying area may be less fundamental
- life-sustaining > health-sustaining > comfort-sustaining
Animal welfare science
- Welfare science considers effects on the animal from the animals point of view
- addresses ethical concerns of the public
- active, developing field
- multidisciplinary but behavioral emphasis
- bias towards farm animals
role of research (in welfare)
- Informs the welfare debate by:
- defining problems (assessment) (how much...)
- Identifying causes (why do...)
- providing solutions (improved...)
Animal welfare science- function
- Aim: to understand the biological functioning or fitness of the animal
- research approaches
- endocrine/immune disturbance
- abnormal behaviour
- Lots of meausres, easy to demonstrate scientifically BUT
- link betwen biological function and welfare not always apparent
Who uses animal welfare science?
- animal protection soc.
- other sci/vets
Role of Ethics
- Why should we care about animals?
- do animals have moral standing?
- what are out duties towards animals?
- what human actions are acceptable or unacceptable?
Science vs. Ethics vs. Law
- welfare Science considers effects on the animal from the animals point of view
- welfare ethics considers human actions towards animals
- welfare legislation considers how humans MUST treat animals
Role of the profession
- making professional policy
- being a spokesperson for animal welfare
- ensuring quality of vets
- provide expert independent advice for government
- comment on proposed legislation
- suggest furutre legislation
role of the individual vet
- promote animal welfare
- clients look to vets for welfare knowledge and advice
- ethical reasoning
welfare/ethical issues in vet practice
- confinement during tx
- elective sx
- tx of wild animals
- heroic tx
- financial limitations
Euthanasia welfare issues?
- welfare concerns the quality of animal life
- death affects the quantity of animal life
- the manner of death is relevant
- high death rates can indicate poor welfare conditions
- welfare can be improved w/ euthanasia